ToF-SIMS is a surface analytical technique that uses an ion beam (primary ions) to remove small numbers of atoms and molecules from the outermost layer of a surface and analyzes those that are ionized (secondary ions). A short pulse of primary ions strikes the surface and the secondary ions produced in the sputtering process are extracted from the sample surface into a time-of-flight mass spectrometer. These secondary ions are dispersed in time according to their velocities (which are proportional to their mass/charge ratio m/z). Discrete packets of ions of differing mass are detected as a function of time at the detector.
ToF-SIMS is capable of detecting ions over a large mass range of 1 – 10,000 atomic mass units at a mass resolution of 10,000. The technique is capable of generating an image of lateral distributions of these secondary ions at spatial resolutions of better than 0.15 microns. Pulsed operation of the primary beam allows insulating surfaces to be completely neutralized between pulses using a low energy electron beam.
ION-TOF-SIMS IV equipped
Selected Applications in Industry: